While the National Police Agency (NPA) of Taiwan has reported that it is taking action on recent cases of human trafficking in Cambodia, in fact both countries have fallen short on promises to take this problem seriously. And yet as early in 2015, the ASEAN Convention against Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (ACTIP) was signed by all 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, including Phnom Penh.
In the lead-up to assuming the chairmanship of ASEAN for 2022, Prime Minister Hun Sen declared in October 2021 that Cambodia would steer the bloc’s collective efforts to fight transnational crime and to ensure peace, security, and prosperity. This July, Cambodia hosted the 22nd ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting on Transnational Crime (the 22nd SOMTC).
Meanwhile in Taiwan, the Human Trafficking Prevention Act provides that those convicted of this crime could be sentenced to imprisonment of seven years. Taiwan has been rated at Tier 1 for battling human trafficking in the US State Department’s 2022 Trafficking in Persons Report (TIP report). However, Cambodia was rated at Tier 3, among the worst in the report.